Common name(s): American Chestnut

Scientific name(s): Castenea Dentata
Hardness (Janka): 540
Aged Woods – Chestnut Flooring“Under the spreading chestnut tree, the village smithy stands . . . ” So begins the poem by Longfellow. Chestnut was storied for good reason: The chestnut was very important to early America as well as Europe. For several hundred years, areas such as the Italian and Swiss Alps, were called the “Chestnut Civilization.” Its uses included candying, roasting, boiling, drying, flour and butter. During the colonization of America, it was a premier tree, providing straight-grained, rot resistant wood for railroad ties, house framing, barns, fences and an important source of tannin for leather processing. The entire Eastern half of the U.S. was once covered with trees. It was said a squirrel could jump from chestnut tree to chestnut tree from Georgia to New York without ever touching the ground. Around the turn of the century, a blight was introduced from Asia, probably on imported Japanese chestnuts. By 1950, virtually all of the American Chestnut was killed. The only remaining source for this wood is old buildings, mostly barns.

The future of the chestnut tree

November 30th, 2017|American Chestnut, Types of Wood|

There have been many scourges to strike this planet from the Bubonic Plague to the AIDS epidemic but humans are not the only living things that have been affected. A fungal blight wiped out nearly every chestnut tree in North America in the early 20th century and it has prevented re-population of the species even [...]

What happened to the chestnut tree?

May 9th, 2017|American Chestnut, Types of Wood|

The chestnut tree was once one of the most common trees in the United States. Towns and cities have named streets for trees like the maple, the walnut and the chestnut was no different. Chestnut Hill is the name of prominent neighborhoods in both Philadelphia and Boston. The tree anchored whatever ecosystem they were a [...]

The American Chestnut

November 1st, 2016|American Chestnut, Types of Wood|

The American Chestnut (castenea dentate) has been one of the most important trees in American history and one of the finest trees in the world. It is a deciduous tree in the beech family and before the 20th century existed all throughout the eastern United States. Alas in the early 1900s fungal blight from imported [...]